'Dangerous' tree faces the axe after branches create a hazard

Barry Stewart is pleased the troublesome eucalyptus tree is set to be removed. Photo: John Cosgrove
Barry Stewart is pleased the troublesome eucalyptus tree is set to be removed. Photo: John Cosgrove
A controversial tree in Christchurch is set to be axed to the relief of residents who believe it is a safety hazard.

The Fendalton-Waimairi-Harewood Community Board approved the decision to remove the 21m-tall eucalyptus tree from the Crosdale Pl berm in Burnside during a meeting last week.

Crosdale Pl resident Barry Stewart spearheaded the push to have the tree removed, writing a letter to Christchurch city councillor and board member Sam MacDonald in June signed by 11 residents.

The eucalyptus tree is set to be removed. Photo: John Cosgrove
The eucalyptus tree is set to be removed. Photo: John Cosgrove
Stewart was pleased with the decision, he said.

"I think it’s great, and so do most people around the area, they’ve been concerned about it for a long time."

Last year, a "huge" branch fell of the tree in calm weather, blocking the driveways on either side.

"Anybody underneath it, it would have killed them."

A lot of people walked under the tree, including children, residents and those taking a shortcut to the bus stop on Memorial Ave, he said.

He believed the risk was ongoing, as dry weather could cause eucalyptus trees to drop branches.

"There have been other smaller branches come off from time to time."

Two weeks after the tree was pruned earlier this year, another branch fell off, he said.

Photo: John Cosgrove
Photo: John Cosgrove
"Someone could have been badly injured by it, or killed."

A report by arborist Tony Armstrong included in the board’s meeting agenda last week stated the tree would cost an estimated $5000 to remove and replace.

During the meeting, the board decided to look into the possibility of residents contributing to the removal cost.

However, on Monday MacDonald said residents would not be asked to contribute.

"Because of the health and safety nature of it, it’s very, very clear that our staff just need to get on and do it."

He believed asking residents to do this would likely cost more in time than it would save in funds.

"It’s certainly not unreasonable for the council to do within its existing budget."

The tree was scheduled to be removed by Christmas, MacDonald said.

 

 

 

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